ALTON - If Marquette Catholic’s boys and the girls' basketball teams had to choose a designated sixth man or woman other than their players on the bench, it would probably be the “Blue Crew,” the group of students who congregate for home and many road games to cheer the Explorers on to victory.

In 2020, the Blue Crew and Marquette Catholic students were recognized by the IHSA Class 1A/2A Student Section Showdown as best in the state, so the efforts of the group have not gone unnoticed.

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Explorers’ boys' coach Steve Medford said the Blue Crew has simply been “awesome” over the years.

“The Blue Crew creates a lot of excitement in a small environment such as our gym,” he said. “That is what has made it a lot of fun having the Blue Crew. I went and talked to them before the game at the March Madness to tell them ‘Let’s bring it again this year!’ They bring it every year and definitely create that home-field advantage.”

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Coach Medford said because of the Blue Crew and such strong Marquette Catholic parent and overall fan support the Explorers’ culture has made it difficult for opposing teams to come to their gym.

“Over the years, we have been very successful in this gym because of the smaller gym, what the Blue Crew brings to the gymnasium, and the whole experience of playing the Explorers and their fans,” he said.

Marquette Catholic head girls coach Lee Green couldn’t agree more with Coach Medford about the importance of the Blue Crew.

“The boys’ games are standing rooms only,” he said. “Our girls’ games get good crowds, but I think this girls’ team is better than we have been in a while, and we’ll draw more fans season. If we can get that Blue Crew in here with us, that would be a good home-court advantage. They do a great job.”

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